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The Pura Vida (“Pure Life” in English) lifestyle of Costa Rica does not just bring laid back beach vibes; it also brings people true happiness. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few organizations that realize Costa Rica is one of – if not the – happiest countries in the world.

Happy Planet Index

The Happy Planet Index uses a slightly different measurement scale to discover the happiest countries in the world than the average organization. Their goal is to “measure what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all.” The Happy Planet Index named Costa Rica the #1 happiest country in the world. Some factors they took into consideration?

- Life expectancy: Good is more than 75, and Ticos come in at 79.1
Wellbeing: Transferring overall feelings of wellbeing to a score can be difficult, but Happy Planet determined that anything above 6 was good. They gave Costa Rica a 7.3
- Inequality of Outcomes: At 15%, Costa Rica landed right in between good and middle
- Ecological Footprint: Read more about Costa Rica’s plan to become energy efficient here


Forbes discusses how a high GDP (Gross Domestic Product) does not equal a country’s happiness in their article “Want To Be Happy? Move To Costa Rica.” They look to factors that bring true, sustainable happiness. For example: a massive lack of loneliness. Costa Ricans feel deep connected to one another.


Costa Rica was also the #1 country for life satisfaction. A sample item Forbes used to determine this was the phrase, “In most ways my life is close to ideal.” For Costa Ricans, “Yes” was the resounding response.

Organic Authority

So why else is this small Central American country so happy? Organic Authority offered up some reasons in their article “7 Reasons Why Costa Ricans Are So Happy.” A few of the topics mentioned are:


- Costa Rica’s lack of army: The constant state of peace evokes feelings of peace
within the residents


- Love of environment: Their connection to the land and its biodiversity brings
much fulfillment and happiness to the people


- Simpler, Fresher Diet: While processed foods can be found in local grocery stores,
diets are mostly made up of beans, rice, grilled meats, and vegetables


- Slower pace of life: Ticos are not in a hurry. They are not rushing life away. They sit
back and soak up every bit of joy they can out of each day

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After 17 years of living in Costa Rica this is home, we actually felt that way fairly soon after our arrival.

A lifetime of running and playing golf took its toll on my right hip so we returned to the US in August where I had my surgery. I would have preferred having the surgery in Costa Rica (we have great medical care) but with Medicare and family in California it made sense for us to make the trip.


What a time to be alive, six weeks after surgery I played my first round of golf. Don’t tell my surgeon, I was supposed to wait three months!

In our 17 years here, the longest we have been away is about two weeks, this was a six week trip with recovery time built in. We got back into the LA scene pretty quickly but had trouble adjusting to the traffic that at this point in Southern California almost never lets up!

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It was great seeing old friends (some of whom have paid us a visit in Playa Tamarindo) and spending quality time with family and best of all was my first visit with my new born grandson (Luca).


When it was time to start planning our return we went through an introspective period evaluating or lives, the decisions we have made and what the future might hold.

A few days before returning we became excited because we had been gone maybe too long and experienced missing our little community and the life we have created which we hold so dear.

Our clients and friends often ask us about life in Costa Rica and we try to describe what we feel and why we are so connected the best we can.

We moved here from The Monterey Peninsula CA, Steinbeck country, which is fitting because it would take a Steinbeck to find the words to describe this experience.

By Tony & Laurel DiMaggio

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Fada Quinn (Gaelic name Eibhlín Ní Chuinne), an entrepreneur from Dublin, Ireland, moved to New York and created a real estate company at 24. Renegade New York is now a fully licensed real estate brokerage specializing in residential rentals in Brooklyn. With over 10 years of experience in real estate and having been a broker for many years selling multi-unit properties, Fada established a keen sales technique and ear to the ground on market and property evaluation.


Being the daughter of a building developer & contractor, and working on sites from a young age, Fada gained a wealth of experience and common knowledge of simple contracting and the ins & outs of building investing and management. Whilst owning properties herself, including a New York Guest house she understands the business behind any investment, even if it’s going to be used as a primary home.

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Fada found her niche in the Brooklyn Real Estate market whilst building Renegade New York, which she marketed towards students, professionals and artists that were migrating into the area. She soon began promoting positive community and economic growth in neighborhoods which were then not so attractive. With her innovative thinking and creative business style, she was quickly sought after by a huge community of investors.


Fada’s professionalism, knowledge, customer service and honest work ethic has taken her business to such high levels of trust and reputation, showing a 4.5/5 stars on Yelp. Pushing boundaries being a female in a highly male dominated industry she later opened a branch in Dublin, Ireland which is now managed and operated by family.


Her clients include those looking to get their buildings rented, & occupied and also those looking for her consultation service and advice on apartment layouts, interior designing and market projections in order to get the best return on their investments. She also works with investors, helping them to find the right building to buy, and those looking to sell.


Fada found Costa Rica. whilst searching for a slower pace of life from New York. Her confidence in the Costa Rican market convinced her to move her family there. It’s natural beauty, warm climate, and family-orientated culture really appealed to her.

Me and Tyler


The supply of well-designed and good quality condos and houses drew Fada to the Tamarindo region, where she chose to extend her sales experience. Fada knew of Coldwell Banker from her time in New York and found their work ethic, vibrancy, and energy for their customers fit well with hers and she decided to join their team, where she works today specialising in vacation homes, investments and lot sales.

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Sometimes I smile when I think of all the adventures I have had in the 25 years I have lived in Costa Rica.


More than half of that time has been spent living the dream at the beach in real estate sales and development in Flamingo Beach and just north of the border up in Nicaragua. I am married to Jacqui and we have a nineteen year old daughter called Melissa who is studying Product Design. We also have three very demanding dogs two of whom we rescued and spoil horribly. I enjoy playing tennis, squash, and swimming and have played several international cricket matches for the Costa Rican national cricket team as an all-rounder.

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Having owned various businesses in Costa Rica and worked in several different fields, as well as being fully bilingual, I consider myself as having a broad background and understanding as to how things work in Costa. As Director of Sales and Marketing and a partner in the very successful Residencias Oceanica condominium development in Flamingo Beach I helped generate $14,000,000 in sales almost entirely at the pre-construction stage and also played a significant role in obtaining environmental and building permits, liaising with the Municipality, writing and preparing brochures and contracts and liaising with condo purchasers to make sure their units were completed to their satisfaction. During this period I was also active selling other real estate properties in both Flamingo Beach and further up the coast in a sister project in Nicaragua.


I am truly excited at having been offered the opportunity to return to Flamingo and Tamarindo to work in an area and a business which I feel very comfortable in and to be able to revisit with old friends and business colleagues. I am also thrilled to be part of the Coldwell Banker Team in Tamarindo. In Costa Rica (as anywhere) it is vital that the realtor you work with has the desire and capacity to best represent your interests be it as a Buyer or a Seller and I have always derived great pleasure from completing deals in which all parties feel they have been treated fairly and within a totally transparent environment.

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I feel that the members of the Coldwell Banker team in Tamarindo abide by the same real estate philosophy as I do and with their phenomenal real estate turnover, I look forward to being able to contribute toward making their business even more successful in the future.


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There is no doubt about it: buying property in Costa Rica can give you plenty of perks.


Costa Rican residential real estate can be a fun vacation home or a solid investment strategy. Costa Rican commercial real estate can offer you a unique opportunity for financial gain. And Costa Rican land can offer endless profit possibilities.


For those interested in purchasing land, you may have heard about or thought about land banking in this Central American country. Here is a simple guide to understand land banking; it can help you decide whether or not this is the right choice for you in Costa Rica.

What Is Land Banking?

Land banking is the practice of making an investment by buying land you do not necessarily have any current plans for.


Many people may want to invest in property with plans to build, develop, or re-sell within a specific period of time. Land banking, on the other hand, is buying property and holding on to it for the future.


Many times this happens in foreign countries as they are in the process of developing and booming with tourism, or perhaps show signs of having the potential to develop or boom in the future.


People buy the land on the outskirts when it is inexpensive with the concept that the land will give high profits in the future.


Sometimes, land banking companies will reach out to other investors to buy off parts of their original purchase.

Is Land Banking A Scam?

Land banking has the potential to become a scam – especially when land banking companies are making big promises to other investors that they may not ever actually come to fruition.

And even in the scenarios that aren’t necessarily a “scam,” you still run the risk of a bad buy. But with a little patience as infrastructure continues to grow, land banking can be a legitimate tool for profit.

Why You Should Consider Land Banking In Costa Rica

Costa Rica has continued to grow in popularity of the years. It is a waves-haven for surfers, a relaxing oasis for retirees, a peace retreat for yogis, and a fun vacation for the whole family.

As that growth continues, the outskirts of popular cities will need to keep making way for the tourist boom. In no way is Costa Rica done growing. This means that expansion could potentially reach your land-banked property in the future and bring you profit.


When you speak to a local professional who knows about the areas that could be the next Costa Rican hot spot a few years down the road, you can feel more confident in your investment.


If you are interested in land banking or buying property in Costa Rica, contact Richard at Richard@cbtamarindo.com.


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1. They work for an agency. We see many people in the area hawking properties. Your local taxi driver will likely offer a ton of properties on your way from the airport. If you buy a cold coconut in the street, well, that guy probably has something more to sell you. A REAL-tor will be working for or own a brokerage here in Costa Rica. We strongly advise that you don’t buy a property from a taxi driver, LOL.
2. They are affiliated with real estate organizations. There are two major chambers of REAL-tors here in Costa Rica. One is CRGAR – Costa Rica Global Association of Realtors and the other is CCCBR – Camara Costarricense de Corredores de Bienes Raices. Your REAL-tor will be a member of at least one of them. Each of them requires that they be a resident or citizen (he can work legally in Costa Rica). A top notch REAL-tor will also have a membership with NAR – National Association of Realtors in the U.S.A. A membership with NAR requires that your REAL-tor abide by the normal standard of ethics you are accustomed to. Furthermore they will also likely be a member in CILA, FIABCI, or one of the many other international real estate organizations
3. They show up in a clean car they own. Ok, ok, ok. Sure, there are two seasons here…dust and mud. Your REAL-tor may have the outside of his car with either of the aforementioned but the inside of his car is prepped and clean for you. You shouldn’t have to sit in his kids spilled candy or chips! You shouldn’t have to get his surf gear out of your way to get into the car! You shouldn’t have to wait for him to move the trash out of the way when you get in! Oh yea, he is gassed up and ready to go!
4. This is their career. Your REAL-tor lives from working in real estate. If he is a jack of all trades, well, their daily focus isn’t making sure he is on top of trends, comps, new listings, and you! There is no standarized MLS or Zillow type services in Costa Rica so REAL-tors here really have to be on top of their game to insure that you are getting the best buy for your hard earned money.
5. They live in Costa Rica full time. Did your REAL-tor mention that he comes here for winters and then travels back to his home country for summers? How is he able to keep on top of what is happening in the real estate market if he isn’t here all year round?
6. They are vested in the community. Almost all of the career oriented REAL-tors we know are active in their community. They participate in volunteer beach cleanups, they are active in a non-profit organization, they give to the community you are going to become a member of to insure that the future in that same area is brighter than it is today.
7. They are interested in showing you all listings. Your REAL-tor makes money from selling you real estate and they can make much more from selling you their exclusive listings. However, if they are really interested in seeing you reach your goals first and not theirs, your REAL-tor will show you not only his companies exclusive listings he will show you other agencies exclusives, and listings that are ‘For Sale by Owner’.
8. They have a list of quality lawyers. So often we hear from clients “my lawyer never gets back to me”. Well, your career oriented REAL-tor has likely worked with a 100 or more lawyers over the years and he has his list whittled down to a select few that he works with personally and professionally because those lawyers focus on real estate law and they actually get back to their clients!
9. They are legal residents and live in Costa Rica. You are making a big investment and changing your lifestyle immensely. Why would you work with an agent in your home country promoting a handful of listings in Costa Rica? Your home country agent doesn’t know anything about Costa Rica real estate law. If he is promoting listings and selling them from your home country he is essentially working illegally in Costa Rica. Once you are here, how is going to keep representing your best interests?
10. They are committed to your needs. Your REAL-tor is committed to you. In your home country, after the sale is made, you really don’t need your agent anymore until you sell. However, here, your relationship with your REAL-tor really just begins at sale. He is the one you are going to count on for a host of needs. Ask your perspective agent in CR how much he will help you after the sale.
Real estate in Costa Rica can be easy or very complicated depending on the type of property you are looking for. You should definitely grill your perspective agent prior to making a commitment to them to insure that you have an actual REAL-tor. Once you fell comfortable you can relax and, most importantly, you should work with just that realtor who will represent you from start to finish. Don’t work with multiple agents. It is a no no. Your REAL-tor is going to give you his all so that you have a seamless transition and transaction. If you work with multiple agents none of them will likely give you the dedication that you deserve. Why should they? You wouldn’t go to your job if you had the expectation that you might not be getting paid for your hard work.


Larry Graziano CIPS is a long time resident in the country. He is a member of the board of CRGAR, a founder and board member of his local chamber of commerce, and a founder and board member of a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the areas Howler Monkey’s. He travels to the annual National Association of Realtors convention each year to represent Costa Rica.



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Yes, let’s say it clearly:
There are plenty of sports you can practice without even saying “surf”. The fact that Tamarindo, Avellanas, or Playa Negra are considered surfer’s dream locations don’t necessarily mean you can only surf there. Especially, if we are speaking about sports so, let’s find out what you can do!
Of course, if you don’t want to surf but you still love the ocean, there’s plenty of water sports to do:
1. KAYAK is the perfect sport to keep fit and at the same time enjoy the landscape, plus it can be practiced alone or with the family.

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If you are looking for a great investment, check out this successful Tamarindo Kayak Business for sale: http://www.coldwellbankertamarindo.com/Tamarindo/successful-tamarindo-kayak-business.html. For information, please contact Larry Graziano: larry@cbtamarindo.com.
2. SCUBA DIVING Yes you can dive here. This will be the most unique and amazing experience you will have. In fact, the tropical climate and the efforts made by the country for protecting its natural resources will lead you to discover an undersea world of extraordinary beauty.
3. FISHING Costa Rica has to offer a great diversity of marine fauna which is perfect for sport fishing. This area in particular, is ideal to enjoy fishing all year long, so if you want to go for a Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Roosterfish, Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi, or any of the other game fish this is the perfect place to catch them!
4. PADDLEBOARD This is a great alternative to surf and it can be done by everyone. Literally, every single person can try it and have fun, which doesn’t mean that is easy, it’s just a bit calmer.
But if you are a non-water person, do not despare. You can always visit these wonderful places and practice sports without even touching the water, and keep the ocean and waves just for your photos and memories!
5. BIKING Sometimes the lack of infrastructure can have its positive sides. There are miles and miles of paths and trails in the plains and in the mountains, in the towns, and in the middle of the jungle that are waiting for all of you biking enthusiasts.
6. GOLF Hacienda Pinilla and Reserva Conchal are the most famous golf courses here at the beach in Costa Rica. Imagine teeing off while surrounded by a lush rainforest where monkeys are watching you and other wild animal cross the course. It is a surreal experience for most any golfer.
7. ATV Let’s add a bit of adrenaline to your vacation! Four wheel quadricycles guarantee an exhilarating experience while exploring the mountains, rivers, or beaches. Costa Rica’s ideal terrain give you the chance to practice it as a sport, take a tour or, if you are brave enough, rent it as main transport throughout your vacation.
8. HORSEBACK RIDING Horses, horses everywhere! This is a must do, you can’t leave without riding a horse through the mountains, the jungle, or ending up at the beach during one of the most beautiful sunsets the planet has to offer.



9. ZIP LINING is another must have and must do. You don’t say Costa Rica if you don’t try the zip line. If you wanna play hard you have to travel a bit and try the Monteverde zip line. However, if you wanna just give it a try, the tours around these beaches are pretty light and are guaranteed to give you the rush you expected.



10. DRESSAGE Who would have thought to find a dressage structure here in the wild Guanacaste! Well, in Playa Negra there are three professional and fully equipped courts to keep training if you already are into this world. You can also get great instruction from one of the many professional teachers in the area.

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Among the amazing things our world has to offer, the World Heritage Sites are the most important and unique masterpieces our cultures and nature have given us. I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about, but just to be clear, all these sites have been selected by UNESCO on the basis of having cultural, historical, scientific or some other form of important significance, and they are legally protected by international treaties.


There are many of them across the globe and by July 2016 1052 sites were listed all and more are in process to be declared by UNESCO.


Now, the one million dollar question is ‘Are there any World Heritage Sites in Costa Rica?’ Well, you won’t believe it but this tiny little piece of land hosts 4 beautiful UNESCO sites. You’d better take note if you consider visiting this wonderful peaceful country!


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The geographic location of this exceptional site of Central America – which preserves traces of the glaciations of the Quaternary Era – has facilitated contact between the flora and fauna of North America and South America. Most of the surface of this region, inhabited by four distinct Indian tribes, is covered by tropical rainforests. The conservation of the site is the object of close cooperation between Costa Rica and Panama.


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Located some 550 km from the coast of Costa Rica, Cocos Island is the only one in the tropical zone of the Eastern Pacific that has a tropical moist forest. It is an ideal laboratory for the study of biological processes, due to its location in the first point of contact with the countercurrent, called North Ecuatorial, and its multiple interactions with the surrounding marine ecosystem. The national park’s seabed is famous and many divers consider it the best in the world to observe large pelagic species such as sharks, rays, tunas and dolphins.


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The pre-Columbian spheres are a group of more than five hundred petro-spheres. As a whole spheres are considered unique in the world by their number, size, perfection, formation of organized schemas and alien abstraction to natural models. Their great value lies in their being made under technological and social conditions considered very difficult at present. However, the indigenous societies that sculpted them did almost perfectly, with very fine finishes in many cases, and sizes ranging from a few centimeters to about 2.6 m in diameter. The spheres were produced and used during a period from 400-500 AD to the Spanish conquest, in a period close to 1000 years.


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Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1999, this site was subsequently expanded to cover the area of Santa Elena, an additional 15,000 hectares belonging to a private individual. The conservation area has important natural habitats for the preservation of biological diversity. These include the best dry forest habitats in the entire region extending from Central America to northern Mexico, as well as others that are essential for the conservation of rare and endangered animal and plant species. In this site ecological processes of great importance take place, so much in the terrestrial environment as in the coastal and marine. Most importantly, this reserve stretches from the central mountain range and serves as a direct safe path for species that use both tropical wet forests and tropical dry forests.

Article written by Deborah Freddo

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The draw of the Pura Vida life in Costa Rica is not only for retirees. Many people want to
enjoy everything this beautiful Central American country has to offer, but they still need
to earn a living.
Showing up and trying to get a local job is not the best way of earning a stable income in
Costa Rica. Not only are there are employment laws in place in this country, there are
also lower wages being paid than you are probably used to.
But there are four popular ways of earning a stable income in Costa Rica:

1. Become A Digital Nomad

In today’s tech-dominated world, needing to be at an office to do your job is becoming a
thing of the past. More companies are realizing they can hire professionals to do all their
work remotely.


From virtual assistants and freelance writers to startup managers and web designers –
plenty of jobs can be done 100% online. Which means they can be done 100% in Costa


The rise of telecommuters – or digital nomads – in Costa Rica is high. With strong
Internet connection, expats can earn the same exact income that they would in their
home country… with the exception of extra beach time and mojitos.

2. Join An International Company

One way people can try living in different countries is to join a business with locations
around the globe. Ask for a transfer to one of the international branches.


Here is a list of some of the top U.S. companies in Costa Rica currently. Another popular
option you will see is real estate companies with American, Canadian, or European


Even under this arrangement, you will still have to have either a work permit or
permanent residency.

3. Start A Business

Starting a surf shop or restaurant in Costa Rica is not for the faint of heart – there is
plenty of work involved and real competition. But a successful business is one way an
expat can make a stable income while living in Costa Rica full-time.


Here is a comprehensive list of all the steps you need to take to ensure your new
business is fully permitted and licensed in the country.


Keep in mind that you can technically own a business in the country without being a
resident, but you cannot work in it.

4. Teach: English or Yoga

Undoubtedly, one of the more common employment options amongst “Gringos” staying
in Costa Rica for a while is teaching, typically English or yoga.


With many bilingual schools for children and even more language centers that teach all
ages, native English speakers with a solid grasp on their language can earn enough
through their lessons to support their stay.


As one of the premier yoga destinations in the world, Costa Rica is a mecca for yoga
teachers to come and teach. The beloved Tamarindo may not have its own gas station,
but it is home to multiple yoga studios. Work can be found in the more populated areas.


(Source: Creative Commons)


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Once you have decided that buying property in glorious Costa Rica is right for you, you will have to determine what type of property you are interested in.


There are many similarities in choosing a house or condo in Costa Rica:


- There are luxury options available for each

- There are affordable options available for each

- Both give you the opportunity to profit through rentals


But there are also pros and cons for choosing a house vs. a condo as your Costa Rican getaway. Here are four factors to consider in your decision.


Not only will the purchase price of a new home often be more with a house, so will your property taxes.

If you want to stay right in the heart of a town, a condo may be the best choice as two things often happen:


- You will find more condo options than house options

- The house options will be considerably more expensive


If you like nice proximity, but prefer to leave a little space between your retreat and the hustle of a town, a house on the outskirts could be a lovely option.


While there are always exceptions to the rule, size will often be a major factor in choosing your home or condo in Costa Rica.


Will your family be joining you frequently? Or is it just you and your partner? Do you want big open spaces? Or you do prefer a cozy corner?


Size also affects these two aspects:


- Upkeep: Personal preference can play a big part in this choice. For retirees coming to Costa Rica for the Pura Vida lifestyle, there may be an attractive quality to smaller, simpler living after a lifetime of family homes and big backyards. On the other hand, you may want the sweeping Costa Rican villa of your dreams and don’t mind hiring out the work.


- Cost: Of course there will be Costa Rican condos that are more expensive than a home, but budget-conscious investors may find more options with condos simply because these units are smaller and do not include land, private pool, etc.

Community Amenities vs. Private Oasis

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One of the best things about choosing a condo is the easy access to luxury amenities. Many Costa Rican apartment complexes have pools, lounge chairs, grills for BBQs, a fitness center, playground, and staff for maintenance.


Of course, this convenience comes with two drawbacks:


- Lack of privacy

- Fees


If you would prefer to soak up that Central American sun in your own private pool on a lounge chair only you sit back on – what may be a “perk” for someone else may feel like a disadvantage to you. Purchasing an entire home may be the better option.


Do not forget about community rules in an apartment complex. If you want to bring your four-legged friend along, you may be limited in options. In a house, you will not be as inhibited.


Many apartment complexes in Costa Rica – especially those in populated areas like Tamarindo Beach or Langosta Beach – have security included in apartment complexes.


And if you have issues with a neighbor at your condo, the complex’s board members should be able to help you remedy the problem.


Just because you purchase a home, however, does not mean you have to forego security. You can hire a property manager and/or a security guard to add that extra layer of comfort.

Which One Is Right For You?

If you are still not sure what type of property is the ideal choice for your vacation bliss, it is important to talk to an experienced local agent who can give you a better understanding of your options. Contact Richard at Richard@cbtamarindo.com.


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